118 – Owen Jones

Owen Jones is an activist (first) and celebrated writer (second). He’s the author of bestselling books Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class and The Establishment And How They Get Away With It, is a regular Guardian columnist and has a cracking YouTube channel. He’s a major Leftist voice in UK politics and quite frankly, I was pretty stoked when he agreed to give me some of his time.

Here we talk about democratic socialism, what Corbyn’s political rise means for that cause, the dangers of centrism and the basics of Brexit. We also touch on what defines the “working class”, being friends with Tories and Owen’s cat.

My latest appearance on The Bugle with Andy Zaltzman & Nish Kumar

My appearance on Kyran Wheatley & Rhys Nicholson’s podcast Save The Date

Australia Says Yes Comedy Gala at the Athenaeum Theatre on Thursday September 21st

@OwenJones84

Owen’s writing for The Guardian

Agitpod – Owen’s podcast with Ellie Mae O’Hagan

Owen’s piece on centrists attacking Labour moderates 

Owen’s piece reflecting on being wrong about Corbyn

Cause of the Week: The Advocacy Academy (theadvocacyacademy.com

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117 – Ahir Shah

Acclaimed comedian and all-round nice guy Ahir Shah was just nominated for the big award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for his passionate, insightful and hilarious show Control. It’s a brilliant treatise on the fallout of Brexit and Trump and humankind’s inability to learn from its past mistakes.

Here Ahir tells me about how the racist debate surrounding Brexit affected him personally, why he couldn’t vote for Jeremy Corbyn in this year’s election, the “economic anxiety” argument used to explain demonstrations of racism, being friends with conservatives and punching Nazis.

Problematic is at the Soho Theatre until this Saturday September 9th

Listen to my live episode of The Bugle with Al Murray

Unity: A Benefit Show for Australian Marriage Equality 

@AhirShah

ahirshah.com

An interview with Ahir on Control

Article: One of Labour’s new rising stars talks class, Westminster and the enemy 

Cause of the Week: British Red Cross South Asian Flood Appeal

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116 – Geoff Norcott

Geoff Norcott is a rare thing indeed: an (openly) right-wing comedian. His recent stand up shows have explored his working class background and his conservative politics and they’ve been mighty funny.

This was a fascinating discussion about Goeff’s thoughts on capitalism, right-wing politics in comedy, Brexit, immigration, outrage, Corbyn, Brixton and personal responsibility.

Problematic is on at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017 now! 8:30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard

Problematic is coming to London’s Soho Theatre, starts August 29th

Help deported “Sanjay” start again

@GeoffNorcott

Right Leaning But Well Meaning is at #EdFringe now

geoffnorcott.com

BBC Two’s The Mash Report

Cause of the Week: Medicins Sans Frontieres (msf.org.uk)

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115 – Sally Rugg

What better week to talk about Australia and marriage equality lolololol

Sally Rugg is an out and proud campaign director at GetUp! calling for queer rights. She’s been leading the marriage equality campaign for a while now (it regularly makes her “wake up tearing her hair out”) and this week the movement has seen another ridiculous setback.

This chat was recorded a few weeks ago but I think it’s a really important insight into where we’re at in Australia with the marriage equality debate and the underlying issues around it. From the ACL to the stupidity of the plebiscite to what it all says about our politics, Sally is frank and passionate about this cause and makes it very clear that she won’t be stopping until this discrimination is removed from the Marriage Act.

Problematic is on at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017 now! 8:30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard

Problematic is coming to London’s Soho Theatre, starts August 29th

Transcripts of Trump’s phone call with Turnbull

My video for Junkee on the “deaths at sea” argument

@sallyrugg

Opinion: We are angry and heartbroken at the prospect of a plebiscite campaign but we are more powerful than ever

Opinion: The campaign against Safe Schools was never about concern for kids

Article: Australians have 15 days to enrol to vote in postal plebiscite

Opinion: Prejudice and Violence Are Learned, And In 2016 They Poured Down From The Top

Article: The rules against malicious campaign material will not apply to same-sex marriage postal vote

A profile on Peter and Bon

Article: The fight after marriage equality

Opinion: Abbott’s obstruction of gay marriage is a defence of privilege and the power of shame by David Marr

Cause of the Week: Twenty10 (twenty10.org.au)

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114 – Mark Di Stefano

Mark Di Stefano is the outgoing political editor at BuzzFeed Australia.

This is a frank chat where we both air our grievances about the shitty state of Australian politics, media and debate at the moment. From the cosy relationship between the press and the political class, the plethora of pundits who never get their comeuppance for being wrong to the good ol’ fashioned outrage industry.

Also Mark explains what the Milkshake Duck is. I am old and uncool.

Problematic is on at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017 now! 8:30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard

Problematic is coming to London’s Soho Theatre, starts August 29th

@markdistef

What A Time To Be Alive: That and Other Lies of the 2016 Campaign by Mark Di Stefano

Australia’s News Channel and What It Learned From Fox News by Mark

Cause of the Week: Copwatch (huffed.org/project/copwatchnjp)

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113 – Caroline Marcus (Live)

Caroline Marcus is the “Political Reporter for the People” for Sky News and an opinion columnist for The Daily Telegraph.

Caroline joined me live onstage at the Giant Dwarf theatre in Redfern in front of a lively crowd on Wednesday July 12th. We touch on the media landscape, bias, identity politics and her experience reporting on the Australian detention centres on Nauru for A Current Affair. Our disagreement occasionally got heated, but I really appreciated the chance to explore this stuff with Caroline in detail.

A huge thank you to the Giant Dwarf for having us.

You can hear the first episode recorded on the night with Tanya Plibersek here.

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017, starts August 2nd

Problematic is coming to London’s Soho Theatre, starts August 29th

@carolinemarcus

Article: If you disagree with me, you’re a racist 

Article: Why are activists so afraid of the truth about Nauru?

A Current Affair: Inside Nauru’s Detention Centre

My episodes on cultural appropriation with Gay AlcornYassmin Abdel-Magied 

Cause of the Week: Lifeline (lifeline.org.au)

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112 – Tanya Plibersek (Live)

Tanya Plibersek has been the Member for Sydney since 1998. She’s the Deputy Leader of the ALP and Shadow Minister for Education and for Women.

Tanya joined me live onstage at the Giant Dwarf theatre in Redfern in front of a lively crowd on Wednesday July 12th. We touched on the ideological rift bubbling up in the Coalition at the moment, gender equality, Mark Latham, education funding and Labor’s refugee policies.

A huge thank you to Tanya for making the time (particularly as she was battling a cold on the night), everyone for coming out to see the show and to the Giant Dwarf for having us.

The second conversation with journalist Caroline Marcus will be next week’s episode.

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017, starts August 2nd

@tanya_plibersek

tanyaplibersek.com

Labor’s Setting The Agenda

Video of the Sydney Setting The Agenda event

Article: Gonski money is making a difference. Let’s not play the Liberals’ tired old blame game by Tanya Plibersek

Article: Gonski 2.0: Is this the school funding plan we have been looking for? Finally, yes by Peter Goss

Cause of the Week: Oxfam’s East Africa Appeal

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111 – Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a writer, broadcaster and activist. He’s a former member of the International Socialist Organisation and was one of the founding members of the Socialist Alternative.

I’ve been wanting to talk to Jeff for a long time and really appreciate this chance to ask him about radical politics, Marxism, class, oppression, the widespread rejection of centrism and the matter of taking one’s politics “seriously”.

Come see Like I’m A Six-Year-Old LIVE in Sydney with Tanya Plibersek and Caroline Marcus TONIGHT!

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Chapo Trap House podcast

@jeff_sparrow

Jeff’s writing for Guardian Australia

Profile in The Saturday Paper

Article: Raising Melbourne’s Red Flag

How Paul Robeson found political voice in Welsh Valleys 

No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson by Jeff Sparrow

Political Theory: Marxism from The School of Life

Cause of the Week: Triple R (rrr.org.au)

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110 – Human Rights & Populism: An Amnesty Panel

This week I’m bringing some highlights from a panel I chaired last week for Amnesty International Australia entitled Defending Human Rights In A Time Of Heightened Populism.

The panel included refugee rights advocates Andre Dao and Aran Mylvaganam, Indigenous lawyer Meena Singh and businesswoman and social activist Hana AssafiriClaire Mallinson, the National Director of Amnesty Australia, was also on the panel, but unfortunately due to audio issues I haven’t been able to include her here.

I thought this was a really enlightening discussion on the way that populist politics affects our conception of human rights and plays into public debate. We reflected on what does and doesn’t work for human rights advocacy in the face of populism, the death of facts and reason, persuasive storytelling and the impact of the Murdoch media on this conversation.

Please bear with the audio: I guarantee you it’s worth it.

Come see Like I’m A Six-Year-Old LIVE in Sydney with Tanya Plibersek and Caroline Marcus on Wednesday July 12th

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017

My appearance on The Bugle podcast with Tiff Stevenson

@amnestyOz

Cause of the Week: Amnesty International Australia (amnesty.org.au)

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109 – Samantha Ratnam

Samantha Ratnam is a social worker and Greens politician who’s currently serving as the Deputy Mayor of Moreland City Council. She’s previously served as Mayor in Moreland and in 2016 ran as the Greens candidate for the federal seat of Wills, losing out to Labor MP Peter Khalil.

This is a great insight into local politics and why Sam’s passionate about it, particularly its ability to inspire change by example. We also cover the situation in Sri Lanka and how that’s informed Sam’s attitude towards conflict and multiculturalism, how Australia’s approach to race feels like it’s going backwards and the future of the Australian Greens.

Come see Like I’m A Six-Year-Old LIVE in Sydney with Tanya Plibersek and Caroline Marcus on Wednesday July 12th

Problematic is coming to Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Check out Filthy Rich & Homeless on SBS 

@samantharatnam

Samantha’s Greens profile

Article: The Mental Trauma We’re Inflicting On Asylum Seekers Is Entirely Preventable by Samantha Ratnam

Article: Taking A Stand, a profile on Samantha 

Article: Meet the Mayor of Moreland

Article: Greens candidate pulls out of anti-racism protest over violence fears

Cause of the Week: The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (asrc.org.au), plasticbagfreevictoria.org 

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